The Federal Government has urged cooperative movements in the country to develop and implement strategies that would lead to the rebuilding of the economies.
It also urged them to apply the same to the social systems of citizens damaged by the pandemic and other devastating factors.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono,
made the call in a statement on Saturday in Abuja to mark the 99th International Day of Cooperatives celebration.
Nanono, the Supervising Minister of the cooperative sector in Nigeria, described the theme of the celebration; “Rebuilding Better Together” as apt.
“I wish to congratulate the over one billion cooperators belonging to three million cooperative societies across the world, on the special occasion of the 99th International Cooperative Day.
“The occasion also is the 27th UN International Day of Cooperatives.
“I, particularly like to felicitate the Nigerian Cooperative Movement, the African Region of the International Cooperative Alliance and the Global International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), on the International Cooperative Day that takes place on the first Saturday of the month of July every year.
“I am pleased to report that Nigerian Cooperatives have contributed significantly to the economic development of the country knowing full well, the immense contribution of the World Cooperative Movement to the socio-economic development of the world,” he stated.
According to him, since the introduction of the cooperative model of development to Nigeria in 1927 by the colonial administration, it has gained wide acceptability.
He noted that it had catalysed agricultural development, especially in the period between 1950 and early 1980s, where it contributed to increasing domestic agricultural production and scaling up the export of agricultural produce.
The minister noted that the revenue generated from export facilitated the provision of infrastructure and social development services.
“Currently, Nigerian cooperatives are actively involved in agricultural input sourcing and supply, agricultural produce marketing and micro-insurance service.
”They are also involved in financial on-lending, road transportation, artisanal mining, value addition, rendering of strategic services and commerce.
”Nigeria was grappling with the multiple challenges of unemployment, food production, inflation, poverty and unending insecurity when the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic came to inflict its debilitating blow on the socio-economic lives of Nigerians other citizens around the globe.
“The pandemic, still raging, is gradually being subdued.
“Nonetheless, the task of restoring, recovering and rebuilding the socio-economic fabric of the people, has to be achieved albeit through national and international cooperation and collaboration of stakeholders, including cooperatives,” he stated.
Nanono then implored Nigerians and the world cooperative movements to assiduously ‘work the talk’ by cooperating among themselves.
The minister gave assurance that the ministry would cooperate, collaborate and support cooperative movements and similar international organisations, in achieving their objectives.
He noted that this would assist in fast-tracking the cooperative movements’ s efforts of advancing the people’s livelihood and restoring their normal ways of lives.(NAN)